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Thread: Greek government goes bankrupt, spoiled citizens shout "We want more money!"

  1. #1
    ad hominem is awesome elipson's Avatar
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    Default Greek government goes bankrupt, spoiled citizens shout "We want more money!"

    How the fuck is it possible that people in Greece still want to hang on to their rediculously expensive pensions and over-priced public wages? The EU should let them burn in the bed they made for themselves. Too bad they are part of the Euro. Guess they should have set the bar a little higher.

    I can't help but think of California when I read stuff like this, or the US as a whole for that matter.

    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/0...-protests.html

    Hundreds of youths rioted in Athens on Saturday, throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at police who responded with tear gas at a large May Day rally against austerity measures needed to secure loans for near-bankrupt Greece.

    Responding to calls from the country's two main labour unions, several thousand people marched in major cities against anticipated spending cuts and consumer tax hikes.

    In Athens, groups of black-clad anarchists in hoods and motorcycle helmets left the main demonstration and burned a TV van, smashed shop windows and set up barricades of flaming trash bins.

    Some 17,000 people took part in the march, according to police estimates.

    Police said 10 suspected rioters were arrested, while no severe injuries were reported.

    The government is set to announce more sweeping spending cuts through 2012 to win support for an international loan package worth $60 billion this year alone.

    The cabinet was to meet Sunday morning to finalize the measures, with Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou expected to announce them at noon and then immediately fly to Brussels for an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

    The International Monetary Fund has said it will provide the money over three years, along with Greece's partners in the group of countries using the euro common currency. Talks with IMF and EU negotiators began in Athens on April 21 and continued through Friday.

    French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Saturday that she was confident eurozone finance ministers would approve the package by the end of the weekend. Governments are discussing a package worth up to $159 billion over three years, she said.

    Greece's additional austerity measures are likely to include raising consumer taxes while docking pensions and public service pay. Unions are furious.

    "These measures are death," said Nikos Diamantopoulos, participating in a rally organized by unions. "How people are going to live tomorrow, how they're going to survive, I do not understand."

    Union members held a peaceful march to the Athens offices of the European Union and on to the U.S. Embassy.

    In the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, where more than 5,000 people demonstrated, anarchists briefly clashed with police and smashed a few storefronts and bank machines.

    Conservative opposition party New Democracy and the right-wing populist LAOS have been critical of the government but are seen as likely to support the package of measures. Left-wing parties have vowed to escalate protests.

    "The Greek people do not owe anything to anybody," Left coalition leader Alexis Tsipras told reporters at one of the Athens rallies, assailing "those who have brazenly robbed public money and pension funds."

    Virginia Kalapotharakou, an accountant who joined striking seamen and dockworkers rallying in the port of Piraeus, called the potential measures "very reactionary."

    "They're trying to do away with all the rights we gained through struggles in previous years," she said.
    Euro ripple effect feared

    A debt default would be a serious blow to the euro currency and could ravage Greek and European banks that invested in Greek government bonds. The bailout is designed to prevent that and to keep the Greek crisis from spreading to other countries that use the euro.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin is pushing for changes to the rules governing the eurozone, including the possibility of suspending voting rights for nations that do not uphold their commitments.

    Merkel told the Bild am Sonntag weekly in comments released Saturday that European Union finance ministers would meet in May to discuss changes to the bylaws for the 16-nation eurozone.

    The chancellor said the common currency has been one of the greatest European success stories but changes are needed to ensure its stability.

    Greece spent freely for years and ran up public debts equal to 115 per cent of the country's total annual economic output. It has been effectively shut out of bond markets to refinance its debt pile because investors fear default and are demanding high rates of interest the government says it cannot pay.

    Signs that help would soon be approved have calmed markets, which previously pushed Greece's cost of borrowing to untenably high levels as EU and German officials showed little urgency in addressing the problem. On Friday the interest rate gap between Greek 10-year bonds and their German equivalent narrowed to 6.20 percentage points, from a staggering 10-point spread on Wednesday.
    Banks downgraded

    But Athens was in for more bad news as credit agency Moody's Investors Service downgraded the debt rating of nine Greek banks: National Bank of Greece, EFG Eurobank Ergasias, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, Emporiki Bank of Greece, Agricultural Bank of Greece, General Bank of Greece, Marfin Egnatia Bank and Attica Bank. Moody's said the banks might face further downgrades alongside an ongoing review of the country's sovereign debt rating.

    The agency said Thursday it was waiting to see details of the EU-IMF rescue package, but a "multi-notch downgrade" of Greece's credit rating remained likely.

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    Registered Member staff EuropIan's Avatar
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    Mediterranean countries are corrupt.
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    Registered Member HappyOldGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elipson
    I can't help but think of California when I read stuff like this, or the US as a whole for that matterl
    So you're saying that greece is the most successfull economy on the planet?
    I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer. Every minute I sit in front of this computer, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the gym, he gets stronger


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    Registered Member HappyOldGuy's Avatar
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    I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer. Every minute I sit in front of this computer, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the gym, he gets stronger


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    Registered Member staff EuropIan's Avatar
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    I think he's saying the government is being bankrupted by its populace.
    You are Ian's plaything, responding to his touch with shrieks of orgasmic delight. No woman in the history of the world is having better sex than sex you are having with Ian... in my head.

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    If I die before I wake.. Cullion's Avatar
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    Whilst there are reasons to keep an eye on California and US public finances at the moment, Greek public financial problems due to corruption and stupidly generous entitlements are on a whole different level.

    It's not uncommon in Greece for people to receive a monthly paycheck for a public sector job they don't actually turn up to, whilst working another job, or tending the family farm (whilst drawing EU agricultural subsidies on that too).

    Their pension arrangements, Christmas bonus system (you get two paychecks at the end of the year) etc.. are all way beyond what you'd consider 'generous' for equivalent jobs in North America or Northern Europe.

    It's a whole culture that's basically been on a really generous form of welfare for years (paid for by them running up enormous public debts which they've employed completely fraudulent accounting tricks to hide, and subsidy from EU nations with more of a work ethic).

    And at the same time, tax evasion is basically a national sport.

    Here's an article by a brit who plays in an orchestra over there and has lived there for 20 years

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...nightmare.html

    The views he expresses here have also been echoed by a greek guy I worked with for a couple of years.

    I'm extremely glad the UK isn't in the Euro at the moment.
    Last edited by Cullion; 1st May 10 at 04:41 PM.
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    ad hominem is awesome elipson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murderforce
    I think he's saying the government is being bankrupted by its populace.
    This.

    I'm actually very pessimistic about the US economy as a whole over the next decade, and California in particular. The way that nobody really seems to care that they are bankrupt is shocking.

    What scares me about US federal finances is the void of political will to actually cut the big spending items that they love (Defense spending, NASA, etc...), the rhetoric being spewed when the T word is even mentioned by the administration, and the difficulty Obama had passing a reform bill that will save tens of billions of dollars each year (medical reform).

    The US love of defense spending and their insistence on maintaing their global hegemony (ala Sarah Palin, lol) will be what breaks the bank.
    "Pranksters and LARPists write or call in threats. Guys like me claim responsibility.

    -SFGoon.

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  8. #8
    If I die before I wake.. Cullion's Avatar
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    Like I say, there's reason to be concerned, but until over 50% of the American workforce is essentially employed in a debt-funded public sector role that doesn't even require them to turn up most of the time, comparisons with Greece aren't needed.

    The UK is in more trouble than the US and if any G7 country snaps I suspect it would be us first.
    ONE SOUL AT A TIME

    Quote Originally Posted by Danno
    i got nothing, you win again.
    Quote Originally Posted by resolve
    I trust God more than I trust you. And that will never change. I've always viewed you as kind of a snake. No biblical connotations need apply, just the regular ones. You're wise. You're really intelligent. But you're also conniving and have this way of getting what you want when you want it. The sickness I was talking about was your propensity to kind of reach in and grasp on to something to define someone here. You harangue them about it and manipulate it in to conversations. You do that with every single poster here. You do this until they see things your way. The "correct way". It's vile.

  9. #9
    Registered Member staff EuropIan's Avatar
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    Yeah but, as Cullion has pointed out, Mediterranean countries are in a league of their own when it comes to embezzlement and political subterfuge.

    You can't win that war.

    And you won't go down that path.
    You are Ian's plaything, responding to his touch with shrieks of orgasmic delight. No woman in the history of the world is having better sex than sex you are having with Ian... in my head.

  10. #10
    Registered Member HappyOldGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elipson
    This.

    I'm actually very pessimistic about the US economy as a whole over the next decade, and California in particular. The way that nobody really seems to care that they are bankrupt is shocking.

    What scares me about US federal finances is the void of political will to actually cut the big spending items that they love (Defense spending, NASA, etc...), the rhetoric being spewed when the T word is even mentioned by the administration, and the difficulty Obama had passing a reform bill that will save tens of billions of dollars each year (medical reform).

    The US love of defense spending and their insistence on maintaing their global hegemony (ala Sarah Palin, lol) will be what breaks the bank.
    Because we're not. US Public debt as a percentage of GDP is lower than Canada, the UK, Germany, and most of the industrialized world. And it's nowhere near our highest point. Our debt is high in absolute terms, and it's higher than it should be. But seriously dude. Deal with that fucking beam in your own eye before you worry about our mote.
    I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer. Every minute I sit in front of this computer, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the gym, he gets stronger


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